Microsoft Partner Community benefits for IT partners

October 19, 2018

As businesses become more specialized, the Microsoft Partner Network benefits are becoming more relevant.

The Microsoft Partner Network (MPN) consists of more than 600,000 partners, vendors and service providers who build or sell solutions based on Microsoft products. Despite its size, Partners who have gathered at any of the many Microsoft annual events over the years get to know each other. They look forward to seeing each other once a year, catching up, discussing the ins and outs their businesses.

Inspire 2018 Las Vegas Microsoft partner conference

Take for example Inspire. Formerly known as the Worldwide Partner Conference (WPC), Inspire 2018 was held in Las Vegas. According to the conference Web site, Inspire is about “Connections that transform your business.” It’s an opportunity to “Connect with partners, Microsoft employees, and industry experts.” More than 16,000 people from around the globe gather for “a week full of networking, learning, and collaboration”.

Below, we’ll explore how these connections and relationships can strengthen your partner business.

Building profitable Microsoft partner business

Generally speaking, Microsoft practices can be divided into two categories: generalists and specialists. Simply stated, the generalist attempts to be all things to all prospects and clients. The specialist chooses to be laser-focused on a single but deep expertise in one product or service.

The generalist might offer all 5 of the Microsoft Dynamics ERP products (GP, SL, NAV, AX and 365). The specialist might focus on just one of those, for example, Dynamics GP.

Microsoft Partner Network benefits for generalists

Business conference from above with red seats

Let’s say you’re the generalist above and you have a prospect who is interested in a new ERP system. That’s great because you can offer that prospect several options. Yet, all too often, it turns out that customers want a broader range of implementations which all require a particular type of expertise.

Do you walk away from the opportunity and refer this prospect to another Partner who offers expertise in the full range of services that the customer requires? Or do you positioning your company as the trusted Partner expertise in one particular area of the project who has access to the most qualified consultants that competency?

The Microsoft community provides partners who have a more general set of skills, with the chance to find partners who specialise in a particular area.

Microsoft Partner Network benefits for specialists

Let’s say you’re the Dynamics GP specialist above and you have a prospect who has contacted you for exactly that reason. This hypothetical prospect is specifically interested in working with a GP specialist because they have already determined that Dynamics GP is the solution they want to purchase. However, it turns out that this prospect is running several other applications that they want to move to Azure. In other words, they want a hybrid solution: on premises GP and Azure for their other applications.

You have no Azure expertise. In this case, you have a few options: turn the project down, refer the prospect to another Partner who handles both GP and Azure, take the project on yourself? Imagine you take the lead, position yourself as the trusted advisor, and work with an Azure expert to meet this prospect’s needs. The Microsoft community provides partners who have a more specialised set of skills, with the opportunity to find and collaborate with partners who can offer a broader set of competencies.

Why MPN makes sense?

There are numerous Microsoft Partner Network benefits. It simply doesn’t make fiscal sense to maintain the broad in-house expertise required to meet the specialized demands of every project for your clients. Connecting and collaborating with partners one of the ways that businesses can specialize and succeed – all at the same time.

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